Sixth Formers Work in Spain
During February half term, Year 12 students Anjali Doshi and myself went to Murcia with a group of students from other parts of England for work experience.
The trip was organised through an external company that was recommended to us by school, Halsbury Work Experience Abroad. We were both extremely excited to go, notwithstanding an early 4.00 am wake-up on Sunday morning!
After arriving on Sunday and getting to know the city, Monday was our first day of work. My work placement was at a newspaper called, ‘La Opinión de Murcia’ which is the regional newspaper of Murcia.
During the week, I attended two press conferences; the first was about a new festival in Murcia across a 5km radius with the aim of bringing families together to celebrate their culture and the diversity of Spain.
On Wednesday, I went to the office and learnt how the newspaper is produced and spoke to employees about their jobs. I acquired a lot of new vocabulary from reading newspaper articles which has proven to be very useful!
On Thursday, I went to the second press conference, together with a photographer and a journalist. The conference was held in the regional building and was about the drought in Murcia. It was attended by many representatives and local MPs, including the Minister of Water, Agriculture and Environment, Adela Martínez-Cachá. Journalists interviewed a farmer from Cartagena for their television programmes, including TVE. The farmer felt the government should be doing more to eliminate the problems caused by the drought; the minister was there to address the issues and what the government will be doing in future. Both the press meetings were extremely stimulating and it was a fantastic way to learn more Spanish and listen to the locals.
When out of work, we had plenty of time to make new friends, eat the typical food and explore the famous sites. We visited the cathedral, the Roman Theatre and La Trapería - a famous shopping street filled with designer shops. On our final day, we went on a guided walking tour of the city, during which the guide told us about the influence of Muslims and Romans on Spanish culture today; this was really useful for acquiring vocabulary and taking lots of photos.
In the evenings, we went to the busiest part of town, near to our hotel, to go to the bars and restaurants.
For lunch and dinner, we ate lots of tapas, including calamari, Iberian ham, Manchego, Tortilla, cheese or ham croquettes and, of course, Paella! We also tried some typical Murcian food, including a ‘Pastel de Carne’ which is a pastry stuffed with beef, chorizo and boiled egg; Pisto, which is peppers with a Spanish sauce; Empañadillas which are a dough filled with tuna and tomatoes and, finally, Marinera which is a breadstick with tuna, mayonnaise, potatoes, tomatoes and olives on top. All of the food was delicious and gave us a greater insight into the Spanish lifestyle and culture!
Overall, I would highly recommend anyone who is studying a language at A-Level to go on a trip like this. I learnt so much and have gained a lot more confidence in speaking Spanish. I have also made many new friends and it was a wonderful opportunity to gain self- confidence and independence.
by Poppy Treadaway, Year 12